Day 269, Year 1: Life at the Dock in Raiatea
Date: Thursday, July 13, 2006
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day
Location: Uturoa, Raiatea (Society Islands, French Polynesia)

Today started off with Mark getting a haircut from Kathy on Po’oina roa as payment for the canvass work he did for them yesterday. She was a professional hairdresser back in California and did a great job.

Then Richard showed up with our autopilot – all repaired and ready to install. In less than half an hour Mark had it installed and we had tested it. Seems OK at the dock. Guess we’ll get a chance to test it under more realistic conditions tomorrow as we can now leave for Rarotonga. Just the possibility of leaving brought on a whole new list of tasks to be done. We had to check-out with the Gendarme, I needed to get new blood tests done to see if I am still OK, we needed to do some last minute grocery shopping, plus we had some cooking to do both to prepare meals for the passage and to have something to take to a dock party this evening. It was rush, rush, rush, but we got it all done.

At 1630 the crews of all the boats at the dock began to congregate just beside our boat. The decision was made to have in near our boat so Judy wouldn’t have far to walk. Everyone brought a contribution to the pot luck dinner and we ate heartily. The guys played botchi ball until we got a sudden downpour. Then it was a mad rush to close hatches, get umbrellas and shelter the food. Soon someone brought out a large beach canopy that provided protection for most of the gang. The rest stood around in groups under umbrellas. Shortly the rain had passed over. It certainly didn’t dampen our spirits or slow the merriment.

There are only a few more things to do to transform the boat from dockside living to passage making. And then we are off. I think we are both looking forward to doing a passage again, though this one may be a bit tougher with a leg in a cast. The weather window looks good and if that is confirmed in the morning weather report then it is off to Rarotonga!

060713 Day 269 Society Islands, Raiatea–Dock Party